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Posted (edited)

Hi, I really need some help with mco. I am practicing the spring forest qigong mco cd led by Master Lin. I have a hard time visualising the back channel. I can only visualize the right side of spine and not the central area of the spine. I have no issues with the front channel. Recently after some practice I noticed energy moving on the right side of spine and ending up in the right hemisphere of brain. It is creating heat in my head and I cant move the energy from right side of brain to the front channel. I think I am moving the energy in the wrong channel on the right side of spine which is bladder channel.Any tips on how to visualize the energy moving in the central part of the spine between left and right vertebras. I mean on the outside of spine not inside. Would really appreciate it.

 

Thanks

Edited by awarenessrules

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, awarenessrules said:

Hi, I really need some help with mco. I am practicing the spring forest qigong mco cd led by Master Lin. I have a hard time visualising the back channel. I can only visualize the right side of spine and not the central area of the spine. I have no issues with the front channel. Recently after some practice I noticed energy moving on the right side of spine and ending up in the right hemisphere of brain. It is creating heat in my head and I cant move the energy from right side of brain to the front channel. I think I am moving the energy in the wrong channel on the right side of spine which is bladder channel.Any tips on how to visualize the energy moving in the central part of the spine between left and right vertebras. I mean on the outside of spine not inside. Would really appreciate it.

 

Thanks

 

Actually Chunyi says to let the light guide your small universe meditation practice. So "awareness" is right brain dominant but what happens for the energy to go down the front is that it first builds up in the right side of the brain and then pushes into the left side of the brain. The left side vagus nerve goes down the front of the body but the left side vagus nerve in the brain does NOT connect to the right side of the brain. That's why the right side vagus nerve - it goes down to the reproductive organs via the back of the body (dorsal) - and so as that energy builds up - then the right side vagus nerve DOES connect to the left side of the brain.

Quote

The above stanzas deal with the generative force, vitality and spirit which, after being sublimated, gather in the brain where, under constant pressure from prenatal vitality and spirit, they will in time produce ambrosia (kan lu). The latter flowing into the mouth becomes a liquid (saliva) which, when swallowed, makes ‘sounds’ in the abdomen.

 

 

So I would not get fixated on trying to control your visualization - but instead focus on listening as your intention or awareness - and then the light will then manifest on its own from the Emptiness directly. So ideally you want to do the small universe in full lotus yoga position. If you can not do that yet - then I would not be concerned about sensations that you are perceiving. Only when you feel great heat in the kidneys and then the thymus - then the pineal gland will get hot. And that's when the Yuan Qi will manifest and your channels will then really open up.

 

I recommend reading the book Tao and Longevity by Master Nan, Huai-chin - he goes over these stages in detail.

 

https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Tao-Longevity-by-Huai-Chin-Nan.pdf

 

Also study the book Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality for the various stages of the Small Universe meditation practice. Contrary to the claims of many here - there are "initial" stages - that you are going through. That is perfectly fine. YOu are supposed to do 3 times MORE of the standing active exercise at first - in contrast to the sitting meditation. Then when the pineal gland opens up you can do 3 times MORE sitting meditation than the standing active exercise....

 

https://archive.org/details/TaoistYogaAlchemyAndImmortality/page/n3

 

So i'll just word search "pressure"

 

Quote

This means that after the sublimation of the generative force, vitality and spirit, they gather in the brain where, under constant pressure from prenatal vitality and spirit, they will in time produce an ambrosia.

and

 

Quote

vitality cannot be driven into the channels of control and function (to circulate in the microcosmic orbit) and will finally drain away by the genital gate; this is caused by the lack of pressure from in and out breathing.

 

So you want stronger reverse breathing - and the standing active exercises will do that also if you have your knees more bent...

 

 

Edited by voidisyinyang
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18 hours ago, voidisyinyang said:

 

Actually Chunyi says to let the light guide your small universe meditation practice. So "awareness" is right brain dominant but what happens for the energy to go down the front is that it first builds up in the right side of the brain and then pushes into the left side of the brain. The left side vagus nerve goes down the front of the body but the left side vagus nerve in the brain does NOT connect to the right side of the brain. That's why the right side vagus nerve - it goes down to the reproductive organs via the back of the body (dorsal) - and so as that energy builds up - then the right side vagus nerve DOES connect to the left side of the brain.

 

 

So I would not get fixated on trying to control your visualization - but instead focus on listening as your intention or awareness - and then the light will then manifest on its own from the Emptiness directly. So ideally you want to do the small universe in full lotus yoga position. If you can not do that yet - then I would not be concerned about sensations that you are perceiving. Only when you feel great heat in the kidneys and then the thymus - then the pineal gland will get hot. And that's when the Yuan Qi will manifest and your channels will then really open up.

 

I recommend reading the book Tao and Longevity by Master Nan, Huai-chin - he goes over these stages in detail.

 

https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Tao-Longevity-by-Huai-Chin-Nan.pdf

 

Also study the book Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality for the various stages of the Small Universe meditation practice. Contrary to the claims of many here - there are "initial" stages - that you are going through. That is perfectly fine. YOu are supposed to do 3 times MORE of the standing active exercise at first - in contrast to the sitting meditation. Then when the pineal gland opens up you can do 3 times MORE sitting meditation than the standing active exercise....

 

https://archive.org/details/TaoistYogaAlchemyAndImmortality/page/n3

 

So i'll just word search "pressure"

 

and

 

 

So you want stronger reverse breathing - and the standing active exercises will do that also if you have your knees more bent...

 

 

Thanks a lot for in-depth reply. Also thanks for the book links.The reason i am worried about moving energy in wrong channel is that i am experiencing symptoms completely different and these are not the symptoms of even the foundational mco practice. The energy starts moving somewhere in lower middle area of my back on the right side of the spine and not from the root of spine and it reaches the right side of brain and i cant move it to left side and it burns my brain. It feels like red hot lava is moving on the right side.

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Posted (edited)

If I were you, I would get advice from one of the teachers of SFQG.

 

It sounds to me like you are focusing to much on visualizing of the movement of energy, and I would recommend orienting to more of a felt experience at the points drawing in, and GENTLY move your awareness to the next point.

 

To resolve what sounds like potential congestion in your back, yoga, more standing practice (zhan zhuang/5 elements, moving practice).

 

Best of luck dude.

Edited by JohnC
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1 hour ago, awarenessrules said:

Thanks a lot for in-depth reply. Also thanks for the book links.The reason i am worried about moving energy in wrong channel is that i am experiencing symptoms completely different and these are not the symptoms of even the foundational mco practice. The energy starts moving somewhere in lower middle area of my back on the right side of the spine and not from the root of spine and it reaches the right side of brain and i cant move it to left side and it burns my brain. It feels like red hot lava is moving on the right side.

yes in Indian yoga - the right side is fire and the left side is water since the left side vagus nerve goes down the front (as water). So originally these energy was called "boiling energy" - and it does feel that hot - like a red hot iron. This is because it is laser energy. Also when I got "healings" from Chunyi Lin then it definitely felt like a laser - and the brain does feel like it is on fire from a laser.

 

Quote

the latter is like a ball of fire, the size of a bullet, in the lower tan t’ien centre which will become hot causing the root of the genital organ to vibrate and set prenatal vitality [Yuan Qi] in motion.

I'm quoting the TAoist Yoga book - you can word search any questions you have

https://archive.org/stream/TaoistYogaAlchemyAndImmortality/Taoist-Yoga-Alchemy-and-Immortality_djvu.txt

Quote

First, heat, develops in the lower tan t’ien cavity (under the navel) after which the kidneys become hot like boiling water.

so I'm just word searching hot - so you can see that what you are experiencing is part of the process.

Quote

‘When it re-enters the brain (or ni wan) the body will feel hot as fire,

So you can alway try getting a phone healing from Chunyi or Jim Nance http://guidingqi.com and then can then read your energy to help you on any specifics

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This is not what you want to hear, so I apologise for that. It’s something I keep repeating to people who create issues through visualisation practice...

 

Visualisation as form of inner cultivation is a modern invention (a simplification) and an error that can only create issues or more often have no useful result.

 

Since you’re already developing issues, I would advise you to stop this  visualisation practice and have a break away from any Qigong for a week or so. Later you can start again and focus on the physical movement aspect of the practice.

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19 hours ago, freeform said:

Visualisation as form of inner cultivation is a modern invention (a simplification) and an error that can only create issues or more often have no useful result.

 

Would you say that in Classical Daoist Traditions there's absolutely no visualization whatsoever?

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On 4/22/2019 at 6:10 PM, voidisyinyang said:

So I would not get fixated on trying to control your visualization - but instead focus on listening as your intention or awareness

 

23 hours ago, JohnC said:

It sounds to me like you are focusing to much on visualizing of the movement of energy, and I would recommend orienting to more of a felt experience at the points drawing in, and GENTLY move your awareness to the next point.

 

20 hours ago, freeform said:

Visualisation as form of inner cultivation is a modern invention (a simplification) and an error that can only create issues or more often have no useful result.

 

Since you’re already developing issues, I would advise you to stop this  visualisation practice and have a break away from any Qigong for a week or so. Later you can start again and focus on the physical movement aspect of the practice.

 

1 hour ago, KuroShiro said:

Would you say that in Classical Daoist Traditions there's absolutely no visualization whatsoever?

 

Sounds like you  created a block by visualizing incorrectly....  don't get hooked on visualizing it doesn't always mean it comes to your eyes but simply, the intention leads the energy... so the visualization should move forward whether you feel it or not.  When you stop to look too long, you create a problem. 

 

Visualization is a long daoist tradition, nothing new... except in the old tradition, one visualized gods... we're replaced them with 'practices' attempting to do things. 

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4 hours ago, KuroShiro said:

 

Would you say that in Classical Daoist Traditions there's absolutely no visualization whatsoever?

 

There is some in certain lineages, yes. Generally more to do with ‘sorcery’ type work - and not internal cultivation as such.

 

There is no visualisation to move Qi in the body. There is actually very little in the way of using intent to move energy too (there are exceptions - usually for beginners).

 

The point is to create conditions in the body and mind to allow the energy to move of its own accord. This is done by using Sung and Ting (active release and listening) - not the will, focused attention, intent or visualisation.

 

There are many reasons for this - one fundamental one is that it goes against the principle of wei wu wei. There are others that I can go into if anyone’s interested - but the message is basically - don’t use visualisation...

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20 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

There is some in certain lineages, yes. Generally more to do with ‘sorcery’ type work - and not internal cultivation as such.

 

There is no visualisation to move Qi in the body. There is actually very little in the way of using intent to move energy too (there are exceptions - usually for beginners).

 

The point is to create conditions in the body and mind to allow the energy to move of its own accord. This is done by using Sung and Ting (active release and listening) - not the will, focused attention, intent or visualisation.

 

Thank you.

Is Maoshan one of those lineages?

 

 

22 minutes ago, freeform said:

There are many reasons for this - one fundamental one is that it goes against the principle of wei wu wei. There are others that I can go into if anyone’s interested - but the message is basically - don’t use visualisation...

 

I'm always interested. :)

Yes my gut feeling has always been no visualization but had no way to know if it was used or not.

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, KuroShiro said:

Thank you.

Is Maoshan one of those lineages?

 

Yup, exactly - the Shangqing (later known as Maoshan) lineage does use some visualisation. It’s actually quite a difficult practice as the visualisation has to be incredibly lifelike and detailed - as in if someone asked how many stitches are in Guan Yin’s lapels, you’d be able to ‘look’ inside and count them... 

 

1 hour ago, KuroShiro said:

I'm always interested. :)

 

Ok - the modern perspective stems from this idea that ‘the brain can’t distinguish between an imagined thing and a real thing’. It’s a pretty shaky theory to say the least. The evidence for the theory is based on some pretty blunt brain imaging tools... What proponents say though is that if you vividly imagine eating a lemon you’ll naturally salivate as if eating a real one...

 

Ok - but what happens if you imagine that you have really big muscles?

 

That’s what imagining Qi is trying to do. The underlying structure for your channels has a physical component and you have to literally build these physical structures - that’s what the internal arts are doing. You can physically feel the Jing Jin lines (the physical aspect of the channels) under an authentic Qigong practitioner’s skin with your finger. You can feel a solid mass of tissue in the abdomen - and that’s the Dantien.

 

Another thing is that by working with the tissues and using your awareness in a particular way you literally build Qi. Yes you can take in Qi through food and breathing and from your surroundings - but it’s a tiny ‘amount’ in comparison to what is built internally through proper Qigong and Neigong.

 

Qi Gong is the mastery of Qi -  and part of that is building Yang Qi and Yin Qi. These are not vague metaphorical ideas - when a teacher issues Yang Qi it feels like being zapped by an electric fence - the reaction is the same... when they issue Yin Qi it feels like a strong physical contraction or expansion in your body (kind of like the blood pressure sleeve) - an observer will be able to see this. Similarly when practicing I feel electric currents in parts of my body, or physical contractions and expansions in my (relaxed) muscles or other tissues.

 

So yes using awareness, intention and imagination can actually move some Qi. But it moves a tiny ‘amount’ of Qi.

 

The other issue is that the mind is simply not still enough to move Qi properly without causing issues. Say you’re focusing your attention around your microcosmic orbit - the smallest deviation from that task - the tiniest movement of mind will throw the whole thing off course. Say a dog barks outside or the tiniest flicker of a thought moves through your mind - you’ve just deviated.

 

That’s why it can be dangerous. Because even though it’s moving tiny amounts of Qi, if you practice a lot, regularly and with strong focus you will create deviations in your basic flow.

 

Another reason is delusion. Say you put your awareness on your palm, focus it there and pay attention to it for as long as you can. You will feel all kinds of interesting stuff. Focused attention will engage your nervous system and your mind will interpret the resulting sensations in many different ways... usually depending on what movies you’ve been watching or books you’ve been reading. 90% of people who ‘feel Qi’ are actually doing just this.

 

All of my teachers have said to not pay undue attention to phenomena and sensations that come about through practice. Classically there are the ‘8 touches of qi’ - these are groups of sensations that arise as a result of Qi.

 

They will be there, but they’re not important in themselves and if you focus on these sensations or try and ‘increase’ them or ‘direct’ them or anything like that - you will create deviations in your practice or a fascination that will stop any further progress. So eg. if you got really involved in these electric current sensations, or the different pulsing and vibrations you get, your quality of mind will move away from creating the correct causes that generate results, and instead will lead into the world of phenomena - distractions that generally lead to delusion or just loss of skill.

 

Eventually you do gain a direct perception of Qi without the faulty filters of your nervous system and imagination - but that happens after a long time (and isn’t strictly necessary to progress anyway).

 

And I’ve been talking about Qi as if it’s a kind of ‘substance’ - but it’s not. At certain stages it does become, to all intents and purposes, a type of substance (like Yin Qi and Yang Qi) - but if you ‘zoom in’ - Qi is basically ‘transformational information in action’... ok that doesn’t really make sense... urgh it’s so tricky to explain... let’s just imagine some fluid-like energy moving around instead :) 

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It is very easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The imagination could be counterproductive when it is used in a wrong way. But let's say we want to sink the qi - how do we go about it? Well usually we start at the top of the head and work down allowing the mind/awareness/shen/yi to sink down. And when you do this, you follow whatever sensations are available to you at the moment. And the only reasonable way to do it is inside the body and for that you have to maintain at least some kind of a picture of the body. Is it imagination? Visualisation? I don't think the answer is simple.

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6 hours ago, idquest said:

And the only reasonable way to do it is inside the body and for that you have to maintain at least some kind of a picture of the body.

 

Seems reasonable, but it’s wrong.

 

I’ve been scolded for doing this countless times. (I have very ‘traditional’ teachers 😄)

 

I’ve tried tracing my awareness down without visualisation. Wrong.

 

I've tried imagining a sensation of sinking going from the head down. Still wrong.

 

Its again one of those over-simplifications. Sinking the Qi is an absolute fundamental aspect of Qi Gong training. And the problem is, that if you go about it in some ‘training wheels’ simplified way (and normally it’s just the instruction to ‘put your awareness on your Dantien’) that simplification gets built into your practice and your whole foundation becomes built on a fundamental error.

 

With sinking, as soon as you use the mind in some way, the Qi rises - and cannot sink.

 

You can use your mind to create all kinds of feelings and images of sinking and the Qi will rise up to your head and help your mind imagine these things!

 

”So how the f*%#k do you actually sink the stupid f*%#king Qi!?” - this was a massive frustration for me for months.

 

The answer is create the correct qualities in body and mind and the Qi will sink under its own ‘weight’.

 

It’s like mud settling at the bottom of an undisturbed pond.

 

You have to allow it to do its own sinking. Any meddling, however helpful it might seem, will bring the mud back up.

 

The body needs to be structured correctly - this is the key. You need the right structure and you need to reach a certain level of Sung. Then you need to develop the right quality of Ting with your mind.

 

When your body is structured correctly... when you’re Sung... when you’ve tuned to the correct quality of Ting... and you don’t disturb your mind with imagination or intent or active thoughts... only then will the Qi sink of its own accord. The feeling is unmistakeable. And the approving micro-nod from teacher is very satisfying (which raises the Qi again 😄)

 

There is another piece of that puzzle - and that’s the Dantien - if you have at least the beginnings of one, and you have some activation and concentration of Qi there - then sinking becomes much easier. Qi attracts Qi.

 

Some teachers will activate your Dantien for you to enable you to sink. Mine did the opposite - he let me struggle for months and only when I finally managed it, he activated my Dantien and it started to build (physically). Frustrating experience and a lot of time, but I gained the skill of sinking, developed patience and learned the level of intricacy in every little mechanic in these arts - clever teacher :) 

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It seems like many spiritual traditions teach a lot of different ways. Feeling for the subtlest physical sensations/movement rather than visualizing seems like a good approach to spiritual practices because it starts where you are at and doesn't add more, so perhaps less chance of things becoming dangerous in some way or form long term.

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1 hour ago, thursday said:

doesn't add more

 

Yeah you’re quite right. ‘Not adding’ is a big part of it... much of the spiritual path is letting go, shedding.

 

1 hour ago, thursday said:

Feeling for the subtlest physical sensations/movement

 

Actually ‘feeling for’ would be an error in my teacher’s eyes... it’s too ‘active’.

 

Ting - which is the quality of awareness that needs to be used is translated as ‘listening’.

 

It’s for a good reason - listening is the most passive of the senses - sounds come to you, you don’t ‘look for’ them - there’s also no real ‘border’ to listening you can hear an airplane many miles away and you can hear the electricity flowing through the motherboard of your computer.

 

And when Tinging - you’re not listening for something. You’re just listening - whether you hear silence or activity, it doesn’t matter - you keep that quality without grasping at phenomena.

 

Again as everything with these arts it’s a subtle, intricate balancing act. To learn it you have to get it wrong many times, realise the error, correct for it and in time you just ‘get it’ - just like finding your balance on a bicycle for the first time.

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14 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Yup, exactly - the Shangqing (later known as Maoshan) lineage does use some visualisation. It’s actually quite a difficult practice as the visualisation has to be incredibly lifelike and detailed - as in if someone asked how many stitches are in Guan Yin’s lapels, you’d be able to ‘look’ inside and count them... 

 

 

Ok - the modern perspective stems from this idea that ‘the brain can’t distinguish between an imagined thing and a real thing’. It’s a pretty shaky theory to say the least. The evidence for the theory is based on some pretty blunt brain imaging tools... What proponents say though is that if you vividly imagine eating a lemon you’ll naturally salivate as if eating a real one...

 

Ok - but what happens if you imagine that you have really big muscles?

 

That’s what imagining Qi is trying to do. The underlying structure for your channels has a physical component and you have to literally build these physical structures - that’s what the internal arts are doing. You can physically feel the Jing Jin lines (the physical aspect of the channels) under an authentic Qigong practitioner’s skin with your finger. You can feel a solid mass of tissue in the abdomen - and that’s the Dantien.

 

Another thing is that by working with the tissues and using your awareness in a particular way you literally build Qi. Yes you can take in Qi through food and breathing and from your surroundings - but it’s a tiny ‘amount’ in comparison to what is built internally through proper Qigong and Neigong.

 

Qi Gong is the mastery of Qi -  and part of that is building Yang Qi and Yin Qi. These are not vague metaphorical ideas - when a teacher issues Yang Qi it feels like being zapped by an electric fence - the reaction is the same... when they issue Yin Qi it feels like a strong physical contraction or expansion in your body (kind of like the blood pressure sleeve) - an observer will be able to see this. Similarly when practicing I feel electric currents in parts of my body, or physical contractions and expansions in my (relaxed) muscles or other tissues.

 

So yes using awareness, intention and imagination can actually move some Qi. But it moves a tiny ‘amount’ of Qi.

 

The other issue is that the mind is simply not still enough to move Qi properly without causing issues. Say you’re focusing your attention around your microcosmic orbit - the smallest deviation from that task - the tiniest movement of mind will throw the whole thing off course. Say a dog barks outside or the tiniest flicker of a thought moves through your mind - you’ve just deviated.

 

That’s why it can be dangerous. Because even though it’s moving tiny amounts of Qi, if you practice a lot, regularly and with strong focus you will create deviations in your basic flow.

 

Another reason is delusion. Say you put your awareness on your palm, focus it there and pay attention to it for as long as you can. You will feel all kinds of interesting stuff. Focused attention will engage your nervous system and your mind will interpret the resulting sensations in many different ways... usually depending on what movies you’ve been watching or books you’ve been reading. 90% of people who ‘feel Qi’ are actually doing just this.

 

All of my teachers have said to not pay undue attention to phenomena and sensations that come about through practice. Classically there are the ‘8 touches of qi’ - these are groups of sensations that arise as a result of Qi.

 

They will be there, but they’re not important in themselves and if you focus on these sensations or try and ‘increase’ them or ‘direct’ them or anything like that - you will create deviations in your practice or a fascination that will stop any further progress. So eg. if you got really involved in these electric current sensations, or the different pulsing and vibrations you get, your quality of mind will move away from creating the correct causes that generate results, and instead will lead into the world of phenomena - distractions that generally lead to delusion or just loss of skill.

 

Eventually you do gain a direct perception of Qi without the faulty filters of your nervous system and imagination - but that happens after a long time (and isn’t strictly necessary to progress anyway).

 

And I’ve been talking about Qi as if it’s a kind of ‘substance’ - but it’s not. At certain stages it does become, to all intents and purposes, a type of substance (like Yin Qi and Yang Qi) - but if you ‘zoom in’ - Qi is basically ‘transformational information in action’... ok that doesn’t really make sense... urgh it’s so tricky to explain... let’s just imagine some fluid-like energy moving around instead :) 

 

 

7 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Seems reasonable, but it’s wrong.

 

I’ve been scolded for doing this countless times. (I have very ‘traditional’ teachers 😄)

 

I’ve tried tracing my awareness down without visualisation. Wrong.

 

I've tried imagining a sensation of sinking going from the head down. Still wrong.

 

Its again one of those over-simplifications. Sinking the Qi is an absolute fundamental aspect of Qi Gong training. And the problem is, that if you go about it in some ‘training wheels’ simplified way (and normally it’s just the instruction to ‘put your awareness on your Dantien’) that simplification gets built into your practice and your whole foundation becomes built on a fundamental error.

 

With sinking, as soon as you use the mind in some way, the Qi rises - and cannot sink.

 

You can use your mind to create all kinds of feelings and images of sinking and the Qi will rise up to your head and help your mind imagine these things!

 

”So how the f*%#k do you actually sink the stupid f*%#king Qi!?” - this was a massive frustration for me for months.

 

The answer is create the correct qualities in body and mind and the Qi will sink under its own ‘weight’.

 

It’s like mud settling at the bottom of an undisturbed pond.

 

You have to allow it to do its own sinking. Any meddling, however helpful it might seem, will bring the mud back up.

 

The body needs to be structured correctly - this is the key. You need the right structure and you need to reach a certain level of Sung. Then you need to develop the right quality of Ting with your mind.

 

When your body is structured correctly... when you’re Sung... when you’ve tuned to the correct quality of Ting... and you don’t disturb your mind with imagination or intent or active thoughts... only then will the Qi sink of its own accord. The feeling is unmistakeable. And the approving micro-nod from teacher is very satisfying (which raises the Qi again 😄)

 

There is another piece of that puzzle - and that’s the Dantien - if you have at least the beginnings of one, and you have some activation and concentration of Qi there - then sinking becomes much easier. Qi attracts Qi.

 

Some teachers will activate your Dantien for you to enable you to sink. Mine did the opposite - he let me struggle for months and only when I finally managed it, he activated my Dantien and it started to build (physically). Frustrating experience and a lot of time, but I gained the skill of sinking, developed patience and learned the level of intricacy in every little mechanic in these arts - clever teacher :) 

 

 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

Yeah you’re quite right. ‘Not adding’ is a big part of it... much of the spiritual path is letting go, shedding.

 

 

Actually ‘feeling for’ would be an error in my teacher’s eyes... it’s too ‘active’.

 

Ting - which is the quality of awareness that needs to be used is translated as ‘listening’.

 

It’s for a good reason - listening is the most passive of the senses - sounds come to you, you don’t ‘look for’ them - there’s also no real ‘border’ to listening you can hear an airplane many miles away and you can hear the electricity flowing through the motherboard of your computer.

 

And when Tinging - you’re not listening for something. You’re just listening - whether you hear silence or activity, it doesn’t matter - you keep that quality without grasping at phenomena.

 

Again as everything with these arts it’s a subtle, intricate balancing act. To learn it you have to get it wrong many times, realise the error, correct for it and in time you just ‘get it’ - just like finding your balance on a bicycle for the first time.

 

Thank you!

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Just want to provide another perspective on visualization, for good measure.

First, I don't think the suggestion of "once a visualizer, always a visualizer" is fair or even reasonable in these imagery/ no imagery debates. By this I mean, you can very well visualize for the first 5% of your meditation (to set the intent), and then not visualize for the rest of that meditation. So you can both visualize and not visualize in a session. Yin and Yang. Now, actively holding onto a visualization the whole time and continuously feeding it imagery is something else, and comes with major drawbacks if done for a prolonged period of time. That's why a lot of Tibetan monks end up with diabetes even though they have powerful minds - they visualize elaborate worlds or Buddhas in such great details that the energy is always in the head.

In my opinion, the payload or driving force behind any visualization or meditation is intent, the major driver of Qi. Because what is energy ? It is intent set in motion.  Everything in the Universe is always in a state of flux or manifestation. As they teach in stillness-movement Qigong, manifestation = intent + energy. The Dao itself has a subtle intent to its energy, otherwise it couldn't create the universe like it does. Even if you say, well, I never use visualization in my practices and I never use intent, then your intent is set on no-intent. It's easy to prove this too. Below is a fun practice.

 

Imagine you are like a sealed glass tube in your environment and your palms are like valves to the outer world. Imagine for a moment that you open these valves. Qi will come roaring inside...... Woooosh.  Can you feel this ? All the Qi in your immediate environment is rushing inside you, traveling up the channels of the arms, through the shoulders, and back down to the Dantian. It will keep doing this until your Dantian is full and can't take anymore. All you do is see your laogong points open as valves, and then you don't need to keep looking at the valves once they are already open. Before your tube was in a closed state to your immediate environment, and now, because of this small visualization, you are open to your environment and drawing in new Qi. This happens through mild use of intent. No-intent would not achieve the same result. Intent is a major change agent.

Taking this further, you could say that your Intent is like your valve to the Divine, to affecting the world of manifestation. My Master always says: "the Divine understands the language of intent perfectly well". For example, If you pray sincerely for your liver channel to open, then it will open. If you visualize a Divine Light in front of you, then it will always appear, whether you see it or not. If you ask for a 5 color cloud that can fly you to the sky, it will appear with the characteristics you ask for.  The secret is that anything you visualize causes a subtle response from the universal energy. A major hint is that if you think of any organ in your body, its sensations will change. This opens a door for further understanding. Let's say you think of your liver, and now you visualize it as a transparent organ bathed in divine light. Its channels will open completely. Even reading this and not doing the meditation, the channels will open the same because the intent is in the words and calls on Divine energy to magnify its effect.

The secret of the small universe of SFQ is aligning the internal intent of the practitioner with the external intent of the Master singing the names of the accupoints. It is hooking up to the vast universe as a power source and not doing it in a closed state like the Mantak Chia people. It is recognizing the power of intent and visualization and yet not holding onto them as a crutch during the meditation. You don't need to visualize where the Qi is traveling, you don't need to force the Qi, and you don't expect to feel it. You don't do anything on your own power. The Qi will just move by itself as you set your intent to the different points. Even if you relax and do nothing it will cycle because of the intent embedded in the CD.

 

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with visualization, it is just a useful tool that a practitioner can use as part of a balanced approach. And many traditions past or present see its value and hence include it in their approach. But the best use of visualization is to let it go after the intent has been set, to allow the spiritual energy to unform and shift according to the intent. Otherwise you are doing a pure mental practice and hindering the entire process by boxing your spiritual energy into a certain posture or image.
 

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On 4/23/2019 at 2:48 AM, awarenessrules said:

Hi, I really need some help with mco. I am practicing the spring forest qigong mco cd led by Master Lin. I have a hard time visualising the back channel. I can only visualize the right side of spine and not the central area of the spine. I have no issues with the front channel. Recently after some practice I noticed energy moving on the right side of spine and ending up in the right hemisphere of brain. It is creating heat in my head and I cant move the energy from right side of brain to the front channel. I think I am moving the energy in the wrong channel on the right side of spine which is bladder channel.Any tips on how to visualize the energy moving in the central part of the spine between left and right vertebras. I mean on the outside of spine not inside. Would really appreciate it.

 

Thanks

 

I would just call Master Lin and ask for a session and he'll tell you what's wrong.  952.593.5555 

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17 minutes ago, Sebastian said:

Just want to provide another perspective on visualization, for good measure.

 

That’s interesting thanks.

 

What’s the background of your training?

 

My perspective is from traditional Daoist lineages and is probably quite different to more modern schools such as Chunyi Lin’s or methods based in other lineages like the Tibetan Buddhist lines. There is no visualisation in classical Daoist internal arts. Only exception is in religious Daoist classics and in sorcery.

 

Regarding intent. The only intent we use is to set the correct principles and conditions in the body and mind - generally that involves taking on a certain posture, a certain mental quality and Ting and Sung.

 

So to have a similar effect to your ‘imagine you’re a glass tube’ process...

 

We would take on the correct posture - release into the elastic tissues of the body (if they’re actually built) and engage the Dantien which ‘animates’ through the tissues. Then you open the laogong by sunging the tissues in the palm until a slight stretch expands from the centre. All the while your Ting permeates through the body...

 

22 minutes ago, Sebastian said:

Let's say you think of your liver, and now you visualize it as a transparent organ bathed in divine light. Its channels will open completely.

 

Maybe we have very different definitions of what ‘completely open channels’ mean... 

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1 minute ago, freeform said:

What’s the background of your training?

 

Mostly the lineage of Spring Forest Qigong. I am currently learning with three Masters along that lineage: the current Master of the parent system, Master Lin of course, and Master Jim Nance who founded Guiding Qi. In terms of more traditional Taoist lineages, I am also quite close to the teachings of Master Ni Hua Ching.  

 

Personally, I don't think a posture approach would open the Laogong in the same way as in the glass tube exercise. The intent would be slightly different. Because yours is to use the mechanics of the body and of Qi to open all muscles, bones and soft tissues in an optimal way. You are working from the perspective of the body and mind, and there's nothing wrong with that. It will lead to a different opening, something that's optimal from body Qi mechanics perspective. I'm not saying that's better or worst, just different.

 

It's like, if you want to make a connection to the North Star, then you need to set your intent to it or visualize it. If you want to connect to the Big Dipper, then same. You can't work on your body or brain to create that connection for you indirectly.

 

When we visualize, we work from the perspective of the Divine in SFQ. We ask the Divine to see our liver completely free and open, and we do this because we realize that engineering has its limits. We realize that the Divine has access to infinite amounts of information, much more than we can possibly fathom, and that it can unblock the liver in ways we never could. For example, it can see the future, it can heal the past and future of the organ. It knows what diseases are potentially coming, and knows what healing we need at this moment. It uses Light to heal us which works at the quantum level and doesn't have the physical restrictions of Qi, although Light is just a more refined form of Qi.


That is not to say that sound energetic engineering and good posture aren't important, they are. But when you're stuck with a deep blockage or trying to go deeper spiritually, then working with Light can take you there if you wish. Otherwise we would be bound to the limitations of the body. When all else fails, Light can bend form, open channels and transform the physical body too. It does this invisibly and claims no credit for what it does. A sincere intent repeatedly cast in light can move mountains from my experience, there is nothing it can't achieve. Some people call this Light Jesus. It's good to engineer and have good posture to build Qi first, then you can convert that Qi to Light or shen and experiment with your spiritual energy.

 

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2 hours ago, Sebastian said:

The secret of the small universe of SFQ is aligning the internal intent of the practitioner with the external intent of the Master singing the names of the accupoints.

 

Does the Master also projects Qi to the acupuncture points? Also does the small universe of SFQ goes down through the Ren Mai or Central Channel?

Have you asked Master Lin if he also used visualization when learning from his teachers?

 

 

 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

We would take on the correct posture - release into the elastic tissues of the body (if they’re actually built) and engage the Dantien which ‘animates’ through the tissues. Then you open the laogong by sunging the tissues in the palm until a slight stretch expands from the centre. All the while your Ting permeates through the body...

 

 

15 minutes ago, Sebastian said:

Personally, I don't think a posture approach would open the Laogong in the same way as in the glass tube exercise. The intent would be slightly different. Because yours is to use the mechanics of the body and of Qi to open all muscles, bones and soft tissues in an optimal way. You are working from the perspective of the body and mind, and there's nothing wrong with that. It will lead to a different opening, something that's optimal from body Qi mechanics perspective. I'm not saying that's better or worst, just different.

 

This is very interesting. Are you talking about opening the Laogong to give Qi to yourself or project to others? Can't a high level Master do this almost instantaneously?

Have you both learned how to completely close all the acupuncture points? This can also be done right?

 

 

2 hours ago, Sebastian said:

It will keep doing this until your Dantian is full and can't take anymore.

 

Is it possible for the LDT to be full?

 

Thanks

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2 hours ago, Sebastian said:

 

I would just call Master Lin and ask for a session and he'll tell you what's wrong.  952.593.5555 

I thought that was the price at first :lol:

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3 minutes ago, KuroShiro said:

Does the Master also projects Qi to the acupuncture points? Also does the small universe of SFQ goes down through the Ren Mai or Central Channel?

Have you asked Master Lin if he also used visualization when learning from his teachers?

 

Sure, I can try to answer that. But I should say I am only speaking as a beginner practitioner of the system, and not as a Master or Teacher. The small universe goes through the Ren Mai and Du Mai. It goes down the Ren Mai. The central channel will be affected too because it mirrors the motions of Qi, and because the Qi touches the periphery of the chakras as it goes up and down the front and back channels. But you don't focus on the central channel. It will open as a side effect, especially if you focus on the LDT behind the navel like we do at SFQ, and not three finger widths below on the skin at the Qihai point.

 

Yes Master Lin learned visualization from his teachers, for this meditation and others.

 

16 minutes ago, KuroShiro said:

This is very interesting. Are you talking about opening the Laogong to give Qi to yourself or project to others? Can't a high level Master do this almost instantaneously?

Have you both learned how to completely close all the acupuncture points? This can also be done right?

 

In my example of the Laogong, it was to gather Qi for yourself, by opening to your environment. You can also visualize a beam of Light emanating from the Laogong and sending it to people. If you want to experience that, breathe in Qi from every pore of your body and breathe out Qi from your Laogong. Do it 12 times until the palms will feel hot. The points will open the same whether you receive or give out energy, but this is open/close in terms of your environment, not in a clinical sense.

 

By the way, for the glass tube visualization, I didn't mean you can fill your Dantian completely that way. What I mean is you are like a vacuum tube and you create a hole. Because of the huge pressure difference, Qi will rush in until the pressure normalizes and then your cup will be "full" only as a matter of speaking. Your Dantian can still use development.

 

You can also use the Bahui point if you like that visualization. You can imagine Light raining down from that point cleaning your energetic body of impurities, as they leave through the soles of your feet. Or you can also use the lower Dantian point. Imagine it sucking all the Qi of your universe. That will lead to filling it much quicker, as opposed to going through the palms, then arms, etc..

 

Hope this helps

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1 hour ago, Sebastian said:

When we visualize, we work from the perspective of the Divine in SFQ.

 

Ok thanks :)

 

I’m familiar with SFQ. It’s a modern ‘re-interpretation’ of the Daoist internal arts. Visualisation, Divine Jesus light and so on is not part of the classical Daoist arts, as I’m sure you know. And that’s fine - just not of interest to me.

 

I think you are right in directing the OP back to Chunyi Lin, it’s his responsibility to help correct issues his program caused in his students - and he’d be best placed to help.

 

I get lots of messages from people asking for help regarding issues they’ve developed as a result of practice. The general tendency is that...

A. they don’t have a teacher or a system and combine things from various sources (usually involving visualisation and ‘sexual energy’) or...

B. they practice some modern variation on the arts (usually with lots of visualisation).

 

This is why I put effort and care in explaining why it’s best to stay away from visualisation here. What people choose to do with that information is up to them.

 

I have no issues with teachers experimenting on their students with their own ‘innovations’ to the arts - as long as they take full responsibility for any fallout and they don’t pretend that they’re teaching a classical Daoist art. Unlike Chia, I think Chunyi Lin generally lives up to this. (I’d just hope he doesn’t charge OP to fix the issue though).

 

Even in the classical arts dying as a result of some small mistake is very common by the way. Not from Qigong - but more from the deeper, more powerful Neigong and alchemical practices. ‘Innovation’ is very risky when you’re meddling with the fundamental building blocks of life. So these arts, down the line, aren’t that safe anyway :) 

 

But personally, would I take a modern re-interpretation based on imagination over a system that has been carefully validated and refined over hundreds of generations of highly achieved beings? No f-ing way :lol: 

 

But that’s just me - I wouldn’t recommend it to my grandma! She’s not really interested in serious spiritual cultivation and would probably have a much more relaxing time imagining divine light with Chunyi :) 

 

 

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1 hour ago, KuroShiro said:

Are you talking about opening the Laogong to give Qi to yourself or project to others?

 

Giving and receiving Qi is again an over-simplification. It doesn’t really work like that as Qi in that context isn’t a substance.

 

In the Longmen tradition there is a lot of Ping Heng Gong... which is a sort of ‘exchanging’ of Qi with your environment. But really it’s not the case that you give or receive an ‘amount’ of Qi.

 

What happens is that you can harmonise your Qi with something in the environment (usually trees in Ping Heng Gong)... sometimes you’ll feel ‘energised’ like you ‘received’ Qi and sometimes you’ll feel tired and drained like you’ve ‘given’ Qi. But what happens is a kind of harmonisation to the quality of Qi in you and the tree and the general environmental conditions. Qi in this context is a kind of ‘transformative information’ not so much a substance.

 

Incidentally - you don’t do this with people because you’re full of pathogens that you’ll be transferring into people (unless you’ve fully purified yourself... which generally takes at least 10yrs of diligent practice). Once you have a sense of these things a Reiki treatment is pretty gross to watch. Of course I try to keep my mouth shut to be polite :) 

 

Regarding the Laogong - even though it’s an area that can exchange information, it is also used to connect your mind with your soft tissues without ‘focusing intent’ directly. So if laogong traces some line in your body, you’ll feel a physical elastic pull under the skin in that area. At first subtle - but with more Sung and Ting it gets quite strong and uncomfortable.

 

Im not sure what you mean by closing acupuncture points. It’s also worth baring in mind that acupuncture points are used in acupuncture. In Qigong it’s different.

 

A master projecting Qi is a different thing altogether. It’s often not a pretty sight either :lol:

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